1/12/2018

Taking my jewelry at the church ladies conference

The day is finally here. I will be taking my jewelry to the church ladies conference at Jones Chapel. Making jewelry helps me pass time in the campervan and is one of my favorite hobbies. Seeing the pieces come together is a little like opening a Christmas present. You sit down to a blank slate of beads, wires and findings. A little while later you have something pretty.

My jewelry won't be sold at a profit at the conference tomorrow. Instead, half of the proceeds will go to support the conference. It's my way of giving back to my home church. I figure it's the least that I can do for the love that we are shown. The ladies pulled my tail out of the fire when my daughter married. I owe them for that big time! But, that's not the only reason for donating to the church.

This church does a lot of work for the community. It has to be one of the most (if not, the most) helpful churches to the community that I have ever been involved with. They feed the hungry, have an annual dinner to benefit Relay for Life, support mission teams - you name it. They just love people and will do whatever for someone. This may sound trite, but it's reality here.

Here are a few pictures of the jewelry up for grabs tomorrow. Some of the pieces are in my Etsy store, but most are only available at the conference tomorrow. Let me know if you see something that you like. 





12/14/2017

Pay up to view this content (Not really)

The repeal of net neutrality has given companies a green light to charge what they want for the content that you want to see. Incentives to keep the internet free are gone. Right now, most of the major companies seem to be saying that they won't change the way they do business. Verizon has a video on how the F.C.C. is (cough) simply moving rules for an open internet (cough) into a different legal category. What they don't talk about is how much the internet will change -and much of the changes will happen overnight.

Those who have cable are familiar with paying extra for "premium" channels. You have to pay to view certain content. These "add on" channels create big profits for the cable companies. They could offer these same channels as part of the regular service package but choose not to. Instead of including these channels, they choose to hit your wallet a little harder for the content that you watch. Society has grown accustomed to the money grab and we accept it. We grumble, but we fork over the cash.

What does this have to do with the repeal of net neutrality? Everything.

Now that net neutrality has been repealed, companies can apply the "premium channel" concept to the channels that you want to watch. There's no punishment for charging more to allow you to see pictures of the grandkids on Facebook, work on your team-created Google Doc, tweet a message to a fellow college student or shop on Amazon.

The insidiousness goes deeper. If your internet provider has a search engine, there's no incentive for them to allow you see a competitor's search engine at the same speed as their own. The internet provider can slow the bandwidth for your preferred website and could force you to wait forever for a page to load. The hope is that you'll get tired of waiting on the slow page and click over to their search engine. This is a hypothetical scenario right now, but then so was the idea of premium cable channels at one time.

Until now, there were rules in place to prevent that. People could surf wherever they wanted to. If an internet page takes awhile to load, it's because of internet problems. It's not because an internet service provider decided what you will watch.

I've been active online since 1996. In my more than 20 years online, I've written for companies, built websites, sold on eBay and Amazon and bought way more than just books online. The past twenty years have seen the dot.com boom, bust and everything in-between.

Ending net neutrality is a strike against small companies, start ups and individuals who just want to keep up with their family and friends. The ruling will change how we interact with the internet, what we see will be dictated by what we (or the internet site that we want to watch) can pay for.

Cnet has a good article on what's at stake with the loss of net neutrality. It's worth a read. Basically, everything that you don't like about cable tv can now shift over to the internet. We can expect to pay for premium packages, watch extra commercials, click through ads that would block us from content and more.

Does the concept of seem far fetched? It shouldn't. Cable companies have been treating customers this way for so long that it's expected. We've grown accustomed to forking over hard earned dollars for the opportunity to have more channels, but nothing to watch. If the net neutrality appeal is upheld, we'll adjust to paying more to access certain internet sites as well.

11/23/2017

Watch a video. Change a life. #createnothate

If you could turn the hate rhetoric in the world, would you do it? What if you could donate to help hurting people just by watching a video or by joining a live stream from a fun or interesting YouTube creator? On Black Friday 2017, you can join others to do just that. Creators from across YouTube to join forces to "create not hate" for just one day on Black Friday 2017.



No clickbait, scams, products to buy or boring infomercials. Participating YouTube channels will be donating profits to help homeless people have warm hats and gloves and help other hurting people with other needs.



The #createnothate was created by YouTubers Pet Monster and Monster Chic. It is being championed by Granny Monster. Valerie Reese is a YouTuber who knits hats, packs food into backpacks and does all she can to help people.



We're doing what we can, but we're asking you to do what you can. Visit our livestreams on Black Friday 2017. Search for videos with "Create not Hate" in the title and watch them. Join our livestreams. Join the conversation. Help us make hate go dark on Black Friday 2017 and help us change lives.



That's what this video is all about.